Learn How to Cut Asphalt with an Angle Grinder

What’s the best way to cut asphalt? Cutting asphalt using an angle grinder is the best way. An angle grinder is a versatile tool to cut different objects like metal and cast iron.

Using an angle grinder you can get the job done as fast as possible. It cuts straight lines through the asphalt enabling you to focus on the areas of repair.

How to Cut Asphalt with an Angle Grinder

8 Steps to Cut Asphalt With an Angle Grinder

Step 1: Prepare the Work Area

Before you begin cutting the asphalt, ensure the grinder cord is long enough to enable you to work in the outdoor area. If not, have an extension to enable you to cover the entire work area.

Next, remove any rocks and obstacles that may prevent you from carrying the asphalt accurately.

You can sweep the area to remove any tiny rocks and metallic pieces to prevent the grinder from picking up any dust or failing due to interactions with foreign objects. This will keep the blade safe from wear and tear.

Step 2: Mark the Cut

Mark the Cut

You need to define the area you intend to remove while cutting the asphalt. You can use chalk or draw a white line to ensure you cut in a straight line. If you plan to fill a hole, you need to create a wide margin of about three to four inches.

This method may remove the material, but it will save you from patching the same spot later. While marking the spot, use a clean and straight edge to make the line as thin as possible to avoid margin of error and overlapping.

Using round and rough objects will waste materials forcing you to fill some sections. If you find it easy following an A-line cut that has already been scored, you can use a chisel and a hammer to dent the pavement in line with the chalk line.

Step 3: Put on Protective Equipment

Asphalt tends to break into chunks or tiny pieces during cutting. These pieces may be harmful to the eye and can also cut the body. You need protective equipment such as goggles and overalls.

You also need a face shield to protect the face from dangerous debris. Masks are essential for keeping you safe from the dust and tiny debris that may enter into the nostril.

Some people also prefer earplugs or earmuffs due to the noise from the blade interacting with asphalt.

Step 4: Inspect the Angle Grinder before you Begin Cutting

Ensure the handle is on the side of the hand with more strength and control. Ensure the vent is clear to allow air circulation to facilitate cooling.

Ensure the blade matches the duty ahead; the perfect blade should be a diamond blade for asphalt cutting.

You should use right size angle grinder to cut the asphalt. Shorter inches blades are not sufficient for cutting; you can use a 125mm angle grinder.

Ensure the guard is in a perfect position between your face and the blade. The guard is essential to prevent any injuries while cutting, and you should never use the grinder without it.

Step 5: Plug the Grinder

Plug the grinder into the power extension port then turn it on. Allow the disc to spin for about two minutes before you begin using it.

During this time, inspect the spinning blade for any deformities and ensure it spins perfectly at full speed. You can also identify any errors that may make the disc fail, do not use the grinder unless the problem has been fixed.

Step 6: Cut Asphalt

Cut Asphalt with angle grinder

Plunge the blade into the asphalt at 90 degrees. Do not tilt the blade; ensure you cut along the line already drawn.

Tilting may mess with the original size of the repairs hence requiring more time and material. Ensure the blade is deep into the asphalt, then cut until the end of the line. You can then proceed with other lines in the same format.

While cutting, be keen to ensure you identify when the blade has passed the asphalt into the dirt below. Once the blade passes the asphalt, there is a change in the resistance, and it becomes easier to maneuver.

Do not proceed past that point to avoid cutting into the rocks in the ground or damaging the blade with soil particles.

Step 7: Remove the Blade from the Asphalt and Turn it Off

You can inspect the cut to ensure it is straight and smooth. If the cut edges appear jagged, it is an indication that the diamond blade is too soft and has a weak bond with the asphalt.

Before you proceed to the next line, you can change the blade to give you a perfect cut next time. You can also inspect the blade for any potential damages.

Step 8: Finish the Asphalt Cutting

When the blade is perfect, you can finish all the marked lines. After that, remove all the unwanted asphalt using a shovel to ensure you restrict within the line.

You can also remove them by hand but ensure you are putting on a glove to avoid cuts. If the asphalt pieces are huge and heavy, break them using a sledgehammer into manageable sizes.

Cutting asphalt with hand tools is simple when using the right blade and following the described stages. These steps guarantee your safety and keep the grinder safe for future use.

How to Cut an Asphalt Driveway

Step 1: Clean the Area

Cutting driveways means you will have to deal with extensive lines and areas. The first process is to sweep the entire driveway before you begin. You can use a broom or movable sweepers to ensure the entire area is clean.

As you sweep, ensure the area is free from any dust. Before you begin sweeping, ensure the section is dry, wet surfaces can retain rock particles that will damage the blade. You can inspect the all area after sweeping to ensure it is perfectly clean.

Step 2: Mark the Cutting Line

You need an additional hand to ensure the lines are straight. You also need to widen the cutting zone to give you good solid edges to work on.

Square up the edges to ensure you get a better and durable repair. After determining the edges, make a line using white chalk. You can then dent the line with a hammer and a chisel or use a screwdriver to give the blade a path as you cut.

Step 3: Start Cutting

Make the cut. Before you begin cutting, measure the depth and the thickness of the asphalt to help you set the machine. You can achieve this by digging a section of the driveway to know the depths.

After setting the depth, you can proceed to cut the asphalt along the line. Cut the asphalt along the first line until its end, lift the blade and move it to the next section. As you turn the saw, ensure the blade is off; turning the saw while the blade is running can break or bend it.

Step 4: Complete the Cutting

After cutting asphalt with the angle grinder, you can inspect the cuts; remove the asphalt, and proceed with the repairs if they are perfect.

Is an Angle Grinder Right Tool for Cutting Asphalt?

An angle grinder is a perfect tool for cutting asphalt; however, the usability depends on the amount of asphalt you intend to remove. It is perfect for small cuts and shorter repairs such as driveways. You need bigger machines for longer and extensive repairs or use the sledgehammer to break the asphalt.

It is not also suitable for extremely deeper asphalt due to the limitation such as the size of the blade. Diamond blades are durable and suitable for asphalt cutting, but you need to avoid damaging them, especially thicker asphalt.

Other tools such as hammers and chisels may help you remove a section of asphalt quickly; angle grinders are reliable and efficient because they help you cut through lines and produce straight edges which are easy to repay.

They also help you to conserve the time and materials needed to repair the driveway. You should use other tools as a last alternative to angle grinders.


1. What blade do you use to cut asphalt?

The perfect blade for cutting asphalt is a diamond blade. It is the most preferred due to its structural integrity and durability when interacting with hard rocky surfaces.

Other blades from other materials may help, but they will break before you finish or become soft and blunt too quickly, hence wasting your time and money.

2. Can you grind down asphalt?

Yes, you can grind asphalt using a sledgehammer to the perfect size you want to use. You can also use special machinery to help you break asphalt into pieces before you melt it for reuse. Grinding and reusing it promotes sustainability since disposing of asphalt may be harmful to the environment.

3. Is 2 inches of asphalt enough for a driveway?

Yes, but it would depend on how frequently you use the driveway and the number of vehicles using it. If you have heavy vehicles such as trucks, two inches is insufficient. If you use the driveway frequently or many vehicles use it, two inches will not be enough.

4. Can you cut asphalt with a concrete blade?

A concrete cutting blade will cut through asphalt fast, and it is a better choice for cutting asphalt. It is durable and hard, allowing it to dig into the asphalt with less resistance.

Angle grinders can help you cut asphalt depths up to four inches. The diamond blade is the best choice for cutting asphalt with an angle grinder due to its stability and structural integrity. Before cutting asphalt, you must inspect the blade for any deformities and ensure the grinder is up to the task.

I hope this thread will be helpful.

Arthur Kyser Morn

Hey Guys! It's me Arthur Kyser Morn, aka AKM, the proud founder and author of Tools Auditor. I'm a content marketer, a dad of 2 lovely sons, and a handyman. I love trying out new tools, and together with my team, I've been creating helpful guides since 2017 with tools and DIY tips.

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